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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | Yaesu VX-2R Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu VX-2R
Yaesu VX-2R Reviews: 133 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $229.00
Description: The Yaesu VX-2R is a microminiature 2 meter/440 MHz handheld with extensive receive frequency coverage, providing local-area two-way amateur communications along with unmatched monitoring capability. It is the worlds smallest HT with 1.5/1 watt output on 2M/440.

Its incredible size allows you to take it anywhere. Receive range is: 500 kHz to 999 MHz (less cellular). This means you can hear the AM, shortwave and FM broadcast bands, TV audio, aircraft and public service channels. CTCSS/DCS with split tone capability is built in. Over 1300 total memories are available including 900 regular memories, 11 home channels, and 50 pairs of band edge memories. You can scan just the memories, the entire operating band or a portion of that band. The aluminum diecast chassis is very rugged.

Power output is with the supplied 1 amp hour Lithium Ion battery 1.5 watts VHF and 1 watt UHF. With the optional E-DC-21 DC adapter output jumps to 3 watts and 2 watts! The VX-2R comes with the FNB-82LI lithium ion battery and NC-85B charger, SMA flexible antenna, belt clip, plus a wrist strap.
Product is in production.
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HA7WX Rating: 5/5 Apr 22, 2015 11:26 Send this review to a friend
I agree with AK4FP  Time owned: more than 12 months
Almost nothing left to add. AK4FP has told so much and he is so right about that little HT. I also have one second hand in great condition with its original pouch.
It comes handy when on holiday or on a trip with friends to talk from car to car.
Also, broadcast reception is great and easy to have the news.
I have bought some chinese antennas and also a Diamond one, they outperform the stock ducky, but no surprise here. I purchased a second battery since these are cheap and easy to find, to prevent those frustrating discharged battery circumstances.
I also bought an external speaker-mic which is also very useful depending on the intended use.
This sensitive little box has an amazing amount of features not to mention the covered frequency spectrum.
This one is indeed a keeper and i would say a must for every HAM radio operator.
AK4FP Rating: 5/5 Apr 21, 2015 13:10 Send this review to a friend
Nice little HT with DC to Daylight  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my VX-2R from HRO in late 2004. Since I'm now past 10 years use I thought I should do a followup review. The radio still functions perfectly. I've probably gone through six batteries now but they are extremely inexpensive on EBay. I recently got two batteries and a charger for $16 delivered. I'll give a list of my pros and cons -

1. This is probably the smallest HT you can buy. It will literally fit in a shirt pocket with toom to spare.

2. The receive frequency coverage is better than most full size communication receivers. You can get down to 300 KHz using a band edge memory and about 11oo MHz doing the same. With the usual cellular exception, you can receive everything in between. With the switch to digital TV, you can't get TV audio now (pity), but everything else analog is still there.

3. Reception on HF with a long wire is surprisingly good. Very little overload and good selectivity. Only the lack of SSB makes this less useful on HF but foreign broadcast signals are loud and clear.

4. VHF and above sensitivity is very good. Claimed sensitivity on 2 meters is 0.16 mv and 0.18 mv for 440, and those seem accurate to me. The receiver is very hot, which can be a problem in RF dense areas. Using the attenuator will help in these situations. I'm lucky enough to live in area without a huge number of transmitters so it hasn't been an issue here.

5. In my tests using my cheesy but reasonably accurate watt meter, power output with a fresh battery is 1.7 watts on 2 meters and 1.1 watts on 440. With the 6 volt AC power in using an inexpensive wall wart, the power on 2 meters jumps to 3.2 watts and 2.3 watts on 440. This is not a DX machine but the transmitter power is about as high as you can get in such a small package. Surprisingly, it seems to hit 2 meter and 440 repeaters about equally as well. With a better antenna (see "Cons" below), I can get 15-20 miles regularly and more range on well located repeaters. Simplex is about 2 miles on 2 meters and probably a mile on 440 so keep that in mind if your regularly use simplex. The range will be longer talking to a high power mobile or base.

6. It's built like a tiny tank. The plastic case is very solid, and chassis is all die cast metal. It's not waterproof but it has stood up well to being in the rain with some reasonable precautions. I've dropped it uncountable times on everything from grass to concrete and the only result was a scuff or two on the case. I believe, as a previous reviewer wrote, that this could survive a fall from a broadcast tower.

7. I have never experienced the failure to turn on problem. I don't know if that has been a widespread problem but I've never had it.

8. It has a manual that actually explains how to do just about anything with the radio. It's not difficult to program but it is a little tedious since you have to use a combination of buttons and the top selector ring. If you only have 10 or so repeaters to enter it's easy. More than that and you'll spend the afternoon on it. There is good free software available (VX2 Commander) and the programming cable is available for $20 or less. Just make sure you get one with a real FTDI chip and not a ChiCom counterfeit.Read the manual though. It clearly explains all the capabilities of this rig, and there are plenty.

Cons -

1. The antenna. If you only want to listen and talk on the two ham bands covered buy the VX-2R, the antenna works OK. If you want to listen to any out of band traffic, it's pretty hopeless. I replaced it with a it with a Comet SMA 224. There are reviews of it here. I've never had a problem with the base or the foldover section and this antenna was bought at the same time as the HT. Performance is amazingly better than the stock antenna. There's a small amount of gain n 2 meters but a very noticeable amount of gain on 440. I can bring up repeaters I could just barely hear with the stock antenna. It's designed to cover the wide receiver capabilities of this radio and it does a creditable job from the VHF air band to 800 MHz. I can even bring up WWV on 10 MHz when conditions are good.

2. The belt clip. It's junk plastic, and it will break off within six months if you carry it on your belt regularly. You can, get a case with a better clip, buy one of the button type clips and use the original screw, or do as I did. Get a piece of spring steel, form it into a clip shape, drill the hole at the top, and use that. Cost zero, since I had some in my junk box.

3. No, it's not going to bring a repeater two counties over like you can with with a full size 5 watt HT but this is one of the penalties with a radio so small you forget it's there. You can use it with a six volt wall wart and get up to over 3 watts on 2 meters. I've found the range is almost comparable to my 5 watt HT's when I do this. You can use an adaptor in the car and do the same thing. Combined with a mag mounts antenna and a speaker mike, you have a very decent mobile unit and wide band scanner.

4. The speaker. It's tiny and sounds a little tinny at high volume. It only puts out 50 mW on battery, but the output doubles to 100 mW with 6 volts. Neither output is going to blow you away. In noisy areas, a speaker mike will help a lot, and and speaker mike is almost mandatory if you are going to use it mobile. Like almost all VX-2R accessories, it's cheap enough.

5. Battery life. I was really disappointed at first when I was only getting maybe four hours life with a 25% duty cycle. Then I read the manual. The radio has both a TX and RX battery saver, and they really work. Set those two options and now I get about 10 hours with the same 25% duty cycle and around 14 hour just monitoring. I don't know how much more we can expect with a tiny radio and tiny battery.

Well, I've ended up writing a novel. In closing, even though the VX-2r is no longer in production, you can get some NOS or lightly used units on EBay for less than $100. Yes, I know you can get ChiCom HT's for $35, and I have a few. They are OK, but none of them have the overall capabilities of the VX-2R. There's no other subminiature radio I can think of that does everything the VX-2R will do. I have the successor radio, the VX-3R. It's slightly larger in size, the menus seem much more difficult to me, it's not as sensitive or selective, and it's not as well built. It will also set you back about $200. A good used until at less than $100 is what I would get if I had to replace either radio.
VE3XQT Rating: 5/5 Jul 13, 2014 18:42 Send this review to a friend
Only one like it!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I think my VX-2R is almost 10 years old and works and looks like new. For the size and output it is an outstanding HT. I have a VX-8DR with all the accessories and just brought a FT1DR home yesterday but will never sell me VX-2R. It's a great little hand that is so easy to carry or hide in your shirt pocket.
N3OQD Rating: 5/5 Aug 11, 2012 23:34 Send this review to a friend
Overview  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Considering its size and power output, it is a fine little radio. Got mine used at a local hamfest this past winter for about $80. The included rubber duck did poorly. Tried an 8 inch wire-whip antenna and got a moderate improvement. Then and finally I used a 20 inch wire-whip and BINGO! It was the answer to my radio. The spare batteries and charger are dirt cheap on e-bay. This because the battery is a common cellphone type. Most of the time I use it to listen to broadcast radio. With a long wire AM and SW do quite fine. Nice, small and inconspicuous.
KF5IKN Rating: 5/5 Mar 27, 2011 11:51 Send this review to a friend
Great Low Power Device  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have had this for some time now, and find it extremely easy to use, and fun radio.
KF6UME Rating: 5/5 Nov 25, 2009 23:23 Send this review to a friend
Great HT, SUPER EASY  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought a second-hand VX-2R at a ham club auction. I was able to get the HT on the air and programmed with several repeaters without the manual. It's one of the easiest radios I've ever used, aside from the FT-60R.

Another ham commented that the VX-2R is "deaf" from 76-108 MHz. Mine is not. One of the band segments specifically receives 59-108Mhz. This is a MARS modified radio, so maybe that's why.

Speaking of the MARS mod, this is a great unit IF you need FRS, GMRS or MARINE transmit capability. For camping, boating, and amateur use, this is a perfect radio.

The size is tiny and so is the power output. If you don't live within receiving range of a repeater with good ears, you may have trouble kerchunking with only 1.5 watts.
M0FRH Rating: 5/5 Nov 1, 2009 03:40 Send this review to a friend
Keeper  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned my VX-2 for 3 years and still enjoy using it for ham and scanning use. Replace the the stock antenna with SRH 519 or SMA 24 and it receives much better. Also own a VX-3 but it's always the 2 that is used most. 73 Ian
K4PDM Rating: 5/5 Aug 26, 2009 04:20 Send this review to a friend
Probably my second review, but justified...  Time owned: more than 12 months
Last week my VX-2R fell 340 feet from a broadcast tower and hit the grassy earth.

It had the stock duck connected and was protected only by the vinyl Yaesu case.

It still works perfectly and looks just like it did before the fall. I know--I would find that hard to believe also, but it is true.

I bought this HT mostly to listen, as there were no repeaters I could hit even with more power. Now we have a nice linked repeater system and I'd like to have a 5-watt HT. Judging from my experience, what brand do you think I will probably buy?
NP3WH Rating: 5/5 Feb 16, 2008 23:20 Send this review to a friend
NOT A BIG PROBLEM!  Time owned: more than 12 months
For those of you who have the proplem were the radio will NOT POWER UP... just connect the wall chgr if you don't want to remove the battery. NOTE: The VX-3R has the same problem. On top of that, the radio is deaf between 76Mhz to 108Mhz.
For those of you who have the VX-2R keep it... don't change it for the VX-3R or the IC-P7
VK7XGW Rating: 3/5 Feb 4, 2008 03:49 Send this review to a friend
not quite up to Yaesu's usual standard  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Well i've had this little h/h since early Dec 2007 and can only agree with comments about the standard antenna, it's generally useless out side it design TX freq's, no biggie though as there's plenty of after market options. BUT for me the biggest issue is a semi-regular problem with not been able to turn the radio back on after charging. I use the supplied "wall wart" which is the one approved for Aust 240V (radio is the local "version" from a Yaesu approved seller). I've found that the radio will indicate full charge, so I disconnect the charger and push the on button; zip, nil, nothing................ grrrrrr.......
reconnect the charger and push the power button and all is happy, disconnect the power and all works as expected. Another local Ham doesn't have this issue with his so it appears as reported here, spasmodic

I'm holding off sending it for service till the wife's Kenwood arrives so I'm not without an handie.............
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